“More cases of pneumonia have been reported in some provinces of China. In the background of this, the health department has strengthened state-wide surveillance. The state medical board, Public health department and specialist doctors are analysing the present situation,” CM Vijayan said.
The state has not reported any unusual increase in cases related to respiratory issues in the last three months, the Chief Minister said.
“So we should be alert. We are observing the cases of respiratory diseases in district hospitals, medical colleges and speciality hospitals,” he added.
The Union Health Ministry has proactively reviewed and strengthened preparedness measures against respiratory illness in the country, as per official sources.
According to the sources, the ministry has strengthened its preparedness through the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
In view of recent reports of a surge in respiratory illnesses in children in northern China, health departments in States and Union territories across the country have been put on alert.
“Multipronged surveillance for respiratory infections has been reviewed and strengthened through NCDC and ICMR systems,” a source told ANI.
Sources further said that the Central government is keeping a close watch on developments in other countries too and is constantly in touch with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Union Health Ministry issued an advisory to states/UTs’ to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness against respiratory illnesses, as a matter of abundant caution.
“Notably, it is important in view of ongoing influenza and winter season that results in an increase in respiratory illness cases,” it said, underlining that there is “no need for alarm”.
“The government of India is closely monitoring the situation and indicated that there is no need for any alarm. In a letter by the Union Health Secretary to States and Union Territories, they have been advised to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness measures viz. availability of HR, hospital beds, drugs and vaccines for influenza, medical oxygen, antibiotics, personal protective equipment, testing kits and reagents, functionality of oxygen plants and ventilators, infection control practices in health facilities, at a senior level”, the ministry said.
All States and Union Territories have been advised to implement ‘Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19’, shared earlier this year, which provides for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI), the notification read. (ANI)